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Research-based innovation

For employees | For students

Do you have a good idea related to your research that could become a useful product or service? NTNU’s Technology Transfer Office (TTO) can help turn your idea into reality.

Commercialization step by step

Commercialization step by step

If you have an idea or invention related to your position at NTNU, patentable or not, you shall contact the TTO will help you assess your idea, verify its potential and possibly help you develop it further. Your idea does not have to be fully developed before you contact the TTO.  It will actually be to your advantage to make contact as early as possible, as it increases your ideas chances of success in the market.

Working with the TTO is not an obstacle to publishing your research results. But in order to be able protect your idea it is important to talk to the TTO before you make your idea public.

TTO also helps you with open innovation and application of your research into new products, services or methods that contributes to society. You can discuss and get advice on a good strategy about the impact and application of your research. To do this, please contact the TTO and submit your idea.  

Submit your idea here

Idea assessment and development

When you submit an idea to TTO, a thorough assessment will be made regarding uniqueness, market need and its potential to be a useful product or service.

If your idea is considered to have a good potential, a significant amount of resources will be invested in verification of the technology or method by prototyping and developing the idea towards a market-ready product or service.

Up to 2020, TTO has assessed 1900 ideas.

Read more about idea assessment and development

An innovation project has many expenses related to prototype development, working hours, equipment, patent applications, trademark protection, hired expertise, travel etc. The TTO has expertise on and access to funding from, among others, The Norwegian Research Council's commercialization program FORNY and NTNU’s Discovery Fund.

Until 2018, TTO has obtained more than NOK 1 billion for research based innovation projects from NTNU.

Read more about financing

Patenting and idea protection

For some ideas, applying for a patent is the right way to go. A granted patent application will be a competitive advantage in the market and will work as a platform to build value and provide predictability for various industry partners.

If patenting is impossible, design protection, brand protection and confidentiality agreements may be good methods for safeguarding plagiarism and building value.

Until 2020, TTO have submitted 800 patent applications. 

Patenting is not an obstacle for publication of your research! You can combine patenting and publication, but you must apply for a patent first. All disclosure beyond confidentiality is considered to be publication.

Read more about patenting

Intellectual property – NTNU's guidelines for IP/IPR

A new product or service can be launched in two ways, which is the most favorable one will vary from project to project.

Establish a new company 

TTO assists you with everything regarding establishment of the new company. You can choose to be employed by the company either full-time or part-time. If you do not want to have an active role in the company, that is okay too. Perhaps a position in the company board is more suitable for you.

When income is distributed in a limited company, the financial gain will be related the amount of shares each shareholder owns.

Up to 2020, TTO has established 246 companies together with inventors.

Establish a company 

Examples of companies established by TTO

License agreement

In some cases, it may be more appropriate to license out the use of the invention through a license agreement.

One or more established industrial players, who are already established in the right markets, will pay for the rights to make use of the invention and develop it into a product or service.

The inventors and other contributors are paid their fair share derived from the invention's use.

TTO negotiates license agreements with relevant industry partners on behalf of the university and the inventors.

NTNU's right to use the knowledge further in research and teaching, as well as publishing rights, will be safeguarded.

Up to 2018, TTO has negotiated 128 license agreements.

Read more about license agreements

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